Amherst College is committed to the health and safety of our employees and their families.  Should you or your family member be a victim of domestic violence or abusive behavior, you are encouraged to communicate with the Office of Human Resources about the situation.  You are immediately eligible for this leave upon beginning employment.

An employee may take up to a maximum of 15 days of time off in a 12 month period, if either the employee or their family member as described below is:

  • the victim of abusive behavior (such as domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or kidnapping);
  • seeking medical attention, counseling, legal or other victim services directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee.

For purposes of this policy, a family member includes not only legally married spouses but also:

  • Persons "in a substantive dating or engagement relationship" AND who reside together; 
  • Persons having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or resided together; 
  • A parent, step-parent, child, step-child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild; or 
  • Persons in a guardianship relationship.

Employees may use accrued vacation, family/medical and excused time to remain in paid status during a covered leave under this policy, and use of such leave will run concurrently with leave under this policy.  If no accrued time is available, leave under this policy will be unpaid.

We request that you provide appropriate advance notice of this leave (as required by the current leave policy), unless there is an imminent danger to your immediate health and safety (in which case - we must receive notification within 3 workdays that the leave was taken or is being taken for reasons covered by this policy). In the event that you take this leave, please provide documentation evidencing that you or your family member has been a victim of domestic violence or abusive behavior within 30 days (reasonable amount of time) of the leave request.  Such forms of documentation may include:

  • A court issued protective order
  • An official document from a court, provider or public agency
  • A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to the police
  • Official legal documentation attesting to perpetrator’s guilt
  • Medical documentation of treatment for the abusive behavior
  • A sworn statement from the employee attesting to being a victim of abusive behavior
  • A sworn statement from a professional who has assisted the employee or the employee's family, for example, a counselor, a social worker or a member of the clergy.

Alleged perpetrators of domestic violence are not entitled to leave under this statute.

Provided you have submitted proper documentation, your employment is protected for leave taken under this policy.  

A form will be completed to document and keep track of the use of this leave.  If you have questions at any time as to how this policy applies to you, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Human Resources.